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Arrest-Proof Yourself: An Ex-Cop Reveals How Easy It Is for Anyone to Get Arrested, How Even a Single Arrest Could Ruin Your Life, and What to Do If the Police Get in Your Face Paperback – January 1, 2007

129 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—Carson has been both a cop and a criminal defense attorney. Here, he puts his years of experience into a "how-not-to" book. He feels that most people who get arrested aren't the worst criminals; they are just the most "clueless"—small-time offenders who make bad decisions and end up in what he calls the "electronic plantation." Now that computers make it ever so easy to track people, getting arrested, even if you're not ultimately convicted, can and will come back to haunt you. Carson has three golden rules: "If cops can't see you, they can't arrest you," "Keep your dope at home," and "Give cops your name and basic info, then shut the f*@# up!" While the book read straight through may seem a little repetitive, it ultimately does come back to one of these three rules, which are imparted with examples and behavior charts. Carson uses a blunt style to make these points, but it's a style that is sure to hit home with his target audience—the underclass. And he does make it plain that while there are many middle-class and white-collar criminals, the police tend to focus their patrols in bad neighborhoods. Those most likely to be in situations where they or those they know might get arrested will get the most out of this book, but even readers in more lofty areas with an interest in law enforcement could find much to discuss.—Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Dale C. Carson was a FBI field agent for 15 years and a Miami police officer for 8 years, where he set Florida records for felony arrests. He is currently a criminal defense attorney. Wes Denham has written newspaper columns and edited trade journals.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556526377
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556526374
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

292 of 302 people found the following review helpful By Review Guy on January 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I almost cannot believe this book was written by a cop. If Hunter S. Thompson were not dead before the publication date, I would swear this was ghost-written. When he advises the reader to consider SOILING his or her PANTS to avoid being taken into custody, I can't vouch for the quality of the advice, but I have to admire the author's balls. Other bits of advice are undoubtably real gems; when the author recommends to always ask the cop for a Notice to Appear in court (or "NOA" - this is to be attempted before resorting to the pant-pooping) he is dispensing uncommon practical wisdom. His discussion of racial profiling, and direct advice to young black and hispanic men, is jaw-droppingly frank. Not unlike Thucydides, the author says, in effect: "Let us have no talk of just and unjust."

The bulk of this book is not unlike the various "Know Your Rights" resources published by groups like the ACLU, but it is vastly better. Those other resources give sound advice in the form of "rules," but it is abstracted from 4th and 5th Amendment case law. The truth is that the justice system exists primarily in the cracks between the laws - in the form of police and prosecutorial discretion. The subjective aspects of an encounter with the police - namely police incentives and psychology - are at least as important to your outcome as the positive law is. Any student of the Supreme Court can tell you what to do in a police encounter (e.g. "shut up"), but without any understanding of why you are doing it, it may be VERY difficult advice to follow.

Following the old adage "know your enemy in order to defeat him," the author shows you what a police encounter looks like from the cop's perspective.
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152 of 161 people found the following review helpful By John on March 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book about how not to get arrested. To summarize the main themes of the book, on how not to get arrested:

- Don't carry guns in your vehicle

- Don't have drugs in your vehicle

- Don't mouth off to cops (actually, shut up when around them)

- Never, ever touch a cop or physically invade his space, etc.

- If a cop sees you, just keep doing what you were doing before he saw you (i.e., the police look for people who change their behavior around the police suddenly).

The entire book is basically variations on those themes. His basic point is that the "clueless" get arrested, because they do one or more of the above. One main message of this book is "if they can't see you, they can't arrest you". Think about it. Who gets arrested ? The guy who is highly visible to police. The white collar criminal, operating behind closed doors is just not visible. The hurdle of a warrant to search a private home in the U.S. is massive. But the hurdle to stop and search a vehicle is not great at all. For that reason, the people who get arrested in the U.S. are people who do stupid stuff in their car (transport guns, transport drugs, get an attitude when stopped, physically touch the officer, etc.
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100 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Sandor J. Woren on January 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of the How To" books, this one may be the most important one that you will every read.

Author Dale C. Carson is a former Florida street cop and FBI agent. He is presently a practicing criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville, Florida. As such, he is in a perfect position to reveal the brutal truth about how police work, their methods, dirty tricks, and motivations. He stresses that cops do not receive promotions or accolades for keeping the peace, or resolving disputes by negotiation, but are evaluated and promoted strictly on the number of citations issued and arrests made, especially felony arrests.

He goes on go to explain how easy it is for *anyone* to get arrested, a subtitle of the book. Most non-criminal "upstanding" citizens" can inadvertently become caught up in the criminal justice "plantation," to use a word coined in the book. Arrest records can have serious consequences, even if the charges are subsequently dismissed, not pressed, or you are acquitted. Such an arrest will doom you (especially young people) to a lifetime of low paid jobs, since many employers will not hire anybody with an arrest record, regardless of the judicial outcome or merit of the arrest. This is particularly dangerous in the age of electronic information, where records can last indefinitely. Before the computer age, written records often got lost with age. Not so now.

So the only practical approach is a defensive/preventive/proactive one. Sadly, most people with not read this book until it is too late, if at all.
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful By FJD on May 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was in the bookstore buying some books on theology when the cover of this caught my eye while walking past the "law" section...I picked it up and it looked interesting, so I bought it.

I read it in one sitting. The writing style is nothing to brag about, but this isn't supposed to be some scholarly piece of literature -- this is a gritty, down to earth offering of practical advice. The content seemed to make sense, but there is one thing which I hated about the book. The advice offered is, essentially, stay in your house as much as possible hiding from even being seen by the police, and if you must go out, do everything in your power to dress and groom a certain way or else you're looking for trouble. And this is the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

What don't I like about this advice? I don't like it because it's true. This is basically the state of affairs in the United States (ever wonder why we have such a huge percentage of our populace behind bars?) -- every time you walk out of your doors you are taking a risk of having an encounter with members of a well-armed, well-organized gang that may, if they feel like it, arrest you for whatever reason they come up with that day. It almost seems as if the author (a former law enforcement officer himself) is essentially saying that law enforcement are psychotic, wholly corrupted, and have real and entrenched self-image and ethical problems, and they have the might and power of the State behind them.

I feel ill.
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